deep-fried-burgers

Post Vacation Update

Ola friends,

So, I’m back from my month-long vacation to the USA. It was a blast, minus the friend I was travelling with turning out to be a pretty shitty companion (but that’s another story)… Food-wise, I definitely over-indulged, but that was always the plan. I wanted to really experience “Murica” and do the whole burgers, deep-fried, authentic pizza thing. It was difficult to manage portion sizes over there because they’re already so much larger than Australian meals to begin with, then having to try and get smaller servings still to fit my VSG tummy was quite the effort. Whenever I could, I ordered an appetizer or kids meal and would get through most of it. I did have a few occasions where I “had” to order a full meal and, predictably, barely made a dent. I felt bad about the wastage but, as part of travelling, you’re often in a hurry so I didn’t have time to sit and try to fit more in. I also didn’t have microwaves/fridges everywhere I went so leftovers weren’t really an option either… 

Anywho, long story short : I ATE POORLY BUT I’M NOT MAD ABOUT IT. 

I stepped on the scale this morning and saw I actually still lost a little weight whilst I was overseas, results below. I’d say what saved me was eating the small portions and walking. I walked so much every day. It felt great not to be tired after an hour of being on my feet. I took my gym shoes and was so grateful that I did for the pure comfort I experienced day after day. All that cardio I’ve done since my surgery paid off, because I barely felt puffed a lot of the time. I even went on a few “fitness” walks that weren’t about site seeing, just about getting some distance under my feet. What a new person I am!

Previous Weight:   97.3kg (214lbs) 

Current weight: 96.6kg (212lbs)

Start weight: 138.1kg (305lbs)

Total loss: 41.5kg (91.5lbs)

I heard you say that you know when the time is right. That stars align and the planets unite to configure a large envelope sealing us in. That together we could lie on the fiery lawn and watch our legs blaze in the agony that is prickly grass. Prickly glass you said was a metaphor. You said because we all lie on prickly grass love never works and let’s just return to humming our sad malicious tunes. Together we could fold our fingers into origami cranes and float against the marshed waters of your so called time. Everything was relative and impractical and perpendicular to the world you said was mine. Keep writing you said. Write down your dark feelings because dark is a relative idea and black is really blue and purple and the color of your face when I hit you at night. And remember you said that life is a beautiful thing and the craters lining the moon also caress your face and the answers to the questions you ask. Let us drink cold lemonade and poorly made pretzels while synchronizing how to pull off our shoes and shirts at the same time. Let everything be a puzzle you told me. A puzzle you make and solve based on your own accord. Everything is relative you said. Let us walk by the cemetery because remembering is important and I am there and she is there and you will be there. And together we can sing our joyous songs against a tv backdrop and be together forever. But forever is relative you said so we only stay for forever until forever is over and forever can be over whenever you say and things are always over and ending. Let us spray garden hoses on each other and maybe laugh a little louder to disrupt the neighbors because they too are relative and leaving soon. And our relationship was relatively over but that meant it was relatively still going on and so sitting at picnic benches became our favorite past time. Deep fried pickles and cheese burgers were tastier than strawberry shortcake so I stayed away from the relative idea of your face. But I always ended up right next to your face. Let us swing high above sand pits and baseball fields to a sky where you say we all intertwine. Where if I look in the sky I can see the stars align but more importantly you said I could see you. So I look in the sky every night and every night you’re there and things seem relatively good. But the problem with relatively good is that things are also relatively bad and relative will always be all that you are. And so I lie on the prickly grass and wait for you to walk past and I relatively don’t care if you do or you don’t. But again it’s all relative and I was never very good at that.
—  Bay-of-roses.tumblr.com
My coach’s guide to a runner’s diet

Nutrition–There is no one ‘superfood’ in my opinion.  Here are the fundamentals of a running diet:

–Eat a wide variety of stuff.  I consciously try to switch things up; if I have a roast beef sandwich at lunch, I try to have chicken for dinner, turkey sandwich for lunch the next day, fish the next night…if I have tuna for lunch, then shrimp for dinner.  Even more so for the veggies–if I have not had a carrot for a day or two, I’ll seek out carrots as a side for a meal. If I have not had broccoli for a few days and it’s a side dish at a restaurant, maybe I sub the broccoli for something I’d had more recently.  If I’m going through a grocery store and I realize I have not had blueberries or mangos or bok choi or something for a while, I’ll buy it and figure out something to do with it.  If a sandwich place or the burrito place has bell peppers and you have not had one in a while, have them throw some on.  You get the idea, LOOK for things you might not have eaten in a while.  Variety is important, there are lots of trace minerals out there that are all 'super foods’ so just give your body a chance to absorb the different things.

–Getting carbs through fruits and vegetables is key.  Nothing wrong with bread or pasta, it’s just that carbs from plants is really great fuel.  Especially this time of year, there is so much good fruit around, I always like going by the farmers markets and getting blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and things and throwing that on granola or cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.  Also I have a banana almost every day when I get up, before I go to my first workout of the day (a banana is a kind of superfood–easy to digest, good clean carbs, good source of potassium).

–You also need clean protein sources–good beef (not hamburger!), chicken/turkey/duck, fish and shellfish, eggs.  You are tearing down and building muscle so you need protein to do that.

–Lean beef is also a good source of absorbable iron–which you need.  Also, weirdly enough, raisins are another great source.  Raisins are an excellent snack for that and other reasons.

–I don’t think we tend to get enough greens–not just lettuce, the more exotic–arugula, spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens.  All these are just not always available at Chipotle or Togos or whatever (arugula and spinach are more common but the others are rare).  These are fun to cook with (more on that in a minute).

–I don’t think I need to say avoid the crap (potato chips, french fries, fast food burgers, deep fried oreos, etc).  It’s OK to grab a cookie or a piece of cake or a milk shake or some ice cream.  I’ll grab some potato chips when they are in front of me or sometimes I’ll grab a donut when people bring that to coffee after a run.  Just don’t crush the junk food regularly.  You’ll feel better!  

–The great thing about being a distance runner is…you can basically eat an unlimited amount of meat, seafood, vegetables and fruit and your body will burn that like a blast furnace.

A Look at McDonald's Japan's World Cup Menu

With the semi-finals starting today, I figured it was the perfect time to give you a first-hand look at the items on McDonald’s Japan’s special World Cup menu, which I sampled my way though in Tokyo last week…

The Brazil BBQ Beef Burger, basically a Big Mac topped with red and yellow peppers and a special Latin BBQ “grill sauce”. Nothing special, not much flavor. But I did love the soccer ball shaped bun!

The two new McNugget sauces they offered, German Curry Sauce and Italian Basil & Cheese…

Both terrible…

Then there were these…

Deep-fried Risotto Balls, one an herb & tomato rice ball, the other a squid ink rice ball…

Both filled with cheese. The squid ink at least had some nice flavor to it, although I have my doubts it was real squid ink…

Ah, the Japan Burger, supposedly a deep fried “minced beef” burger…

Soccer ball bun, good start…

And there was a “burger” under all that shredded cabbage…

But I swear, this was THE WORST thing I have ever tried at any McDonald’s anywhere in the world! Just disgusting.

No flavor or texture. The closest I have ever come to understanding what “eating cardboard” is like. Aptly named though as its terrible taste perfectly reflected the Japanese team’s piss poor performance in the Cup!

However, on the hand, there was the French Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger, not even given the respect of its own personalized box…

Rather plain looking, to be honest…

But this deep-fried chicken patty with melted cheese and sliced ham on a super soft bun was probably THE BEST specialty burger I have ever eaten at a Japanese McDonald’s! The flavors all worked. For a fast food burger, this blew me away. Really.

I did not get the chance to try the German Pork Schnitzel Burger though. Featuring a deep-fried pork cutlet with potato salad, roast onions and a mushroom sauce on a pretzel bun, this baby proved so popular, it sold out on a national level in just a few days!

So much like the World Cup itself, this McDonald’s menu proved to be a mixed bag, full of surprises and disappointments with more than a few bad calls.